Ayala Group to Take Over Kia PH Distributor Columbian Autocar Corp. After October 15
Back in May, it was reported that the Ayala Group will take over the distributorship of the Kia brand of vehicles in the Philippines from current distributor Columbian Autocar Corporation (CAC) by acquiring a 65-percent stake of it, with the remaining 35 percent to remain with CAC founder and Chairman and current Palawan Governor Jose “Pepito” Alvarez. While no formal announcement about the takeover has been made, CARMUDI PHILIPPINES recently learned that it’s a done deal, with CAC practically letting go of almost every employee by October 15.
According to our source, only a few holdovers from CAC will remain, mostly from the aftersales department. Almost everyone else though, from CAC president Ginia Domingo to the rank-and-file employees, will be let go, with a substantial severance package as CAC’s parting gift before the Ayala Group formally takes over after October 15.
Our source added that some CAC employees have already found employment with other car brands, most notably Nissan, while some are still in limbo as to what they’ll do next.
While we hope that they’ll find employment soon, especially in these trying times, we look forward to what the Ayala Group’s plans for Kia are. Could we see the Kia Stinger or Kia Cee’d in local dealerships soon or will we see the Ayala Group take a page off of its Volkswagen playbook by bringing in China-made Kia models like the Kia Pegas, Kia K4, or even the Kia KX Cross? It looks like we’ll have to wait for the next couple of months to find out.
With this development, Alvarez’s once four-strong car brands under his corporate umbrella will now be whittled down to two: Peugeot and Mahindra. Before Kia, Alvarez also divested his interest in BMW through his Asian Carmakers Corporation by selling 65 percent of it to SMC Asia Car Distributors Corporation and retaining a 35-percent share.